Wednesday, April 15, 2015


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TORONTO:  Good and great people are one of the best blessings of God. Their personality, character, qualities, abilities, vision, struggle, works and contributions in any form all combine to help, guide and lead mankind.  They devote their lives, time and energy for right causes and purposes. This makes them legendary and an important part of history and our lives.
            Those who forget or ignore them remain lost in the pitch of darkness and keep suffering. It is their goodness and greatness which helps end the darkness and shows the right path, direction and destination.
              Just like every drop of blood and medicine gives a dying man new life, the stroke of a pen takes or saves a life, the tongue heals or breaks the heart  the same way even the smallest contribution in any form which helps communities and humanity in general as experience, inspiration and motivation becomes extremely precious, priceless and tremendous. All benefit from them but the people with vision take full advantage to serve humanity in reality.
            Even most parts of all the holy books mention about great and good people, their contributions and how God pays tributes to them and asks us to understand, remember and follow them. These are presented as examples for us to learn and understand.
            So it is pointless and senseless to say that remembering, respecting and following them after century or less or more is useless. Even after millions of years, we are told and reminded by God Himself to understand, remember, respect and follow the prophets, saints, angels and all good ones till the doomsday.
            TRAGIC: Unfortunately, most people, despite best efforts to help and guide them, fail to understand or deliberately avoid understanding and accepting this logic, fact and reality. They have made such cultures, traditions and values part of their lives and religion, which have nothing to do with religions and against which God has warned them repeatedly through messengers and books. The negative and wrong thinking, approach, direction and have made their lives miserable and pushing them towards destruction and hell.   
            Again, unfortunately Muslims particularly are easily provoked, excited and trapped. Without thinking about the consequences or heeding to the strict warnings they simply jump into the trap and as a result keep suffering and dying. Instead of acting on the principle “Think before you leap”, they do vice versa and “Think after they leap” by shouting Allah-O-Akbar. By this way they think they are making God very happy and would get the best place in paradise.
            Cite the example of any prophet or saint who senselessly and blindly jumped from the mountain or into the fire or into the sea. They all lived and acted wisely and sensibly but today’s Muslims love committing stupidity with the intention and impression of pleasing God. Instead of getting place in paradise, such approach, attitude and actions will only land them in hell.
             Hypocrites and exploiters take full advantage of wrong thinking, approach and attitudes of such Muslims. Most of the innocent Muslims fail to understand the vested interests and cunningness of the hypocrites and criminals behind the innocent looking faces with fake smiles and crocodile tears and are tricked and trapped. Hypocrites are criminals and sincere to none. They can only exploit, cheat and cause harm.  
              IMPORTANCE: So in the light of above, it is important to keep understanding, remembering, respecting and following the good people and true leaders, who emerge as greats and legends. They are indeed the best blessings of God. 
            Such is the importance of great and good ones. The sole purpose is to benefit from their contributions. The glorious past always serves as a mirror for bright future. Let’s get direction, vision and strength from our glorious past and pledge to always SERVE HUMANITY IN REALITY.  
            Maulana Altaf Hussain Hali (1837-1914) and Allama Muhammad Shibli Nomani (1857-1914) are two such great personalities and leaders with tremendous contributions based on vision and direction to help, guide and lead the people. That spirit, efforts and actions were badly needed by the people living in occupation and slavery to boost their morale and keep them alive and on the right track. It was indeed a great task.
             CELEBRATION: In order to pay tributes and benefit from their services, contributions and vision, the Canpak Chamber of Commerce and the Consulate General of Pakistan commemorated the centenary of the two giants of Urdu literature---Maulana Altaf Hussain Hali and Allama Muhammad Shibli Nomani (1914-2014)---on Sunday, March 29, 2015, at the auditorium of the Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, Toronto, Ontario. It was a well-attended select gathering of renowned scholars, writers, poets, distinguished personalities and their families.
             The program was produced and directed by International Award Winning Producer Nazimuddin Nazim of Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) and was divided into three portions: Act One, Act Two & Act Three.
             ACT ONE: Opening remarks, Dua (Prayers) of Altaf Hussain Hali, Recitation of Holy Quran and national anthems of Canada and Pakistan. Zubairuddin, renowned newscaster and figure of PTV, acted as host and presented introduction of the program.
            Dr Shahid Hashmi, Chairman, Canpak Chamber of Commerce, presented the welcome address. He asked the audience to observe thirty seconds silence in remembrance of late Maqsood Khan, Councillor of Oakville, and for all those killed in attacks on churches, other religious places, Army School in Peshawar, Pakistan, and in terrorism acts elsewhere.
            He highlighted and praised the sincere efforts and tremendous contributions of team leaders and sponsors with special thanks to including Asghar Ali Golo, Consul General of Pakistan, Feroz Jessani, Nazimuddin Nazim, Hashim Reza Taqvi, Roshan Khayal, Zubairuddin, Hasham Hyder, Rabah Anum, Sarah Anjum, Nadia Hussain, Dr Ali Naqvi, Moazzam Khan, Dhruv Gulati and most importantly the team support of family---Seema Hashmi, Saman Hashmi, Sohabe Hashmi, Savera Hashmi, Shakaib Hashmi and Sidra Hashmi.
            He said: “We are dedicated to building bridges between individuals, communities, business and government which are a profound necessity in today’s world.”
            The distinguished speakers were: Professor Iqbal Haider (Dallas), Aftab Rizvi (Presented special article: Hali, Shibli Aur Hum), Dr Syed Taghi Abedi and Asghar Ali Golo, Consul General of Pakistan. Piano composition played by Sidra Hashmi. Introduction by Muhammad Yaseen. 
            Asghar Ali Golo, Consul General of Pakistan, said in his message: “This event is an occasion to pay tribute to great leaders and reformers who withstood all adversities and remained steadfast in their mission. Their perseverance and determination played a vital role in the independence movement by virtue of which Muslims are enjoying fullest spiritual, cultural, economic and political life in the way that they thought best and in consonance with their own ideas. Both great luminaries---Maulana Altaf Hussain Hali and Allama Muhammad Shibli Nomani---were remarkable leaders and played a significant role towards the renaissance of Muslims.”
            Dr Syed Taghi Abedi, in his message, said: “Maulana Hali was an Urdu poet and a great social reformer of Indian Subcontinent. He was the famous pupil of Ghalib and a close friend of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the founder of the Aligarh University. At the request of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Hali wrote the famous poem “Mussadus-e-Hali’, which deals with the rise and fall of the Indian Subcontinent Muslims.”
            He said: “Apart from his status as a pioneer in the modern Urdu literature, he devoted his poetry to advance the cause, social welfare and betterment of human values. He was the first reformer who focused humanitarian aims and women’s right.”
            Dr Taghi said: “In his book ‘Majalis-i-Nisan’, Hali emphasizes the need of educating women. In his book ‘Bewa Ki Munajat’, he focused on the plight of widows in sub-continent society. He also purified the poetic thoughts and therefore it is widely believed that if he was not born or had not spread the tune of his poetry, Allama Iqbal’s work may not be produced.”
            Dr Abedi said:” Allama Shibli Nomani was the youngest member of Sir SyedAhmed Khan’s team. He was also an educationist, a reformer, a historian, a biographer, poet and a social worker. He wrote many authentic and important books. ‘Shirul Ajum’, an anthology of Persian poetry, and ‘Siratul Nabi’ were very popular among the Sub-continent Muslims.”
            He said: “Both Maulana Hali and Allama Shibli worked for mankind and their teachings are essential in our 21st century day to day lives as they are beacon lights in the storm sea of human beings.”
                Aftab Rizvi, in his message, said: “Legendary scholars like Maulana Altaf Hussain Hali and Allama Shibli Nomani must always be remembered because they are our heritage, pride and golden past. Future of learned nations are connected with their past and they take pride in considering their present as link between these two eras. No nation in the world can survive gracefully if disconnected with legends of the past era. These legends gave their time and devoted their lives to the cause of literature, poetry and critical writings.”
            He said: “In today’s materialistic society, where success and wealth are only measured with balance in the bank, it is hard to understand work of those who stood from poverty, worked hard, made their name in history and paved way to live and be remembered forever.”  
            ACT TWO: Roshan Khayal, son of internationally recognized renowned poet and intellectual Himayat Ali Shair, acted as the host in the second part of the program. Biography of Hali and Shibli was presented. The narration was by Sarah Anjum and Anum Rabah, supported by spectacle, tableau, and power point presentation.
            The next item was Colours of One Ghazal, which included Zahoor-e-Qudsi---Hai Justuju K Khoob Se Hai Khoob Kahan, the masterpiece writing of Shibli, and a Ghazal (Koee Mahram Nahin Milta Jahan Main). The vocalist was Nadia Tariq. It was composed by Dr Ali Naqvi. The players were: Keyboard (Naveed Akhtar), Tabla (Nitin) and guitar (Ali).
            Next was ‘Mussadus-e-Hali’, a documentary and visual presentation produced by Nazimuddin Nazim with background voice (Talat Hussain) and Naat recitation (Junaid Jamshed).
            Next was ‘Live dialogue with Hali and Shibli’. The interviewer was Nazimuddin Nazim and acts by Dr Ali Naqvi and Moazzam Khan.
            Legendary music maestro Sohail Rana presented the Urdu translation of Canadian National Anthem.
            The Act Two concluded with Dr Shahid Hashmi’s presentation of vote of thanks.
Refreshment was served to the audience.
            ACT THREE: Hashim Reza Taqvi acted as the host in Act Three. The chief guest was Asghar Ali Golo, Consul General of Pakistan in Toronto. Dr Syed Taghi Abedi presided. Sidra Hashmi presented English poetry. Tarahe Mushaira was organized in the Act Three.
            The following poets confirmed their participation in the Mushaira: Wali Alam Shaheen, Syed Iftikhar Haider, Abeda Karamat, Karamat Ghori, Nasim Syed, Tasleem Elahi Zulfi, Manif Ashar, Ameer Jaffery, Darakhshan Siddiqi, Nasreen Syed, Nazimuddin Maqbool, Tariq Hussain, NaeemUddin Naimi, Junaid Akhter, Salman Athar, Muzaffar Mansoor, Assar Akbar Abadi, Basharat Rehan and Mohammad Yaseen.
           RECOGNITION AWARDS: Shafiq Qadri, MPP for Etobicoke North and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier of Ontario, presented the Recognition Awards to the following for their great efforts and remarkable contributions as team leaders and role models in making the event  very successful and memorable:
            1.Maryam Haya 2.Raba Anum 3.Sidra Hashmi 4.Shakaib Hashmi 5. Dr. Syed Taghi Abedi 6. Nazimuddin Nazim 7. Hashim Taqvi 8. Roshan Khayal 9. Sohabe Hashmi 10. Savera Hashmi 11. Zubair Uddin 12. Prof Iqbal Haider (Who came from Dallas, US) 13. Aqeel Ashraf (Who came from Houston, Texas, US) 14 Seema Hashmi 15. Saman Hashmi 16. Javed Zaheer 17. Dhruv Gulati 18. Ali Naqvi 19. Moazzam Khan 20. Aftab Rizvi 21.  Durdana Mahmood 22. NazimUddin Maqbool 23. Sohail Rana 24. Consul General of Pakistan – Asghar Ali Golo 25. Farah Iqbal 26.Mohammad Yaseen and 27. Dr. Shahid Hashmi.
            RICK MILNE: Rick Milne, Mayor of New Tecumseh, presented the Recognition Awards to the following:
1.         Consul General of Pakistan Asghar Ali Golo for being the Chief Guest
and promoting the event 2.Consul General of India Akhilesh Mishra for being the Chief Guest.
3.Feroz Jessani, President, Royal Canadian Steel Inc., for his financial Support 4. Joe D'Addario, President, Nature's Emporium 5.Seema Hashmi & Dr. Shahid Hashmi for organising the event and financial support and  6.Nazimuddin Nazim for producing a beautiful program.
            Jim Karygiannis, ex-Liberal MP and presently Toronto City Councillor also presented recognition award to Dr Shahid Hashmi, Chairman, Canpak Chamber of Commerce. 
         CANPAK ACHIEVEMENTS:  The Canpak Chamber of Commerce, under the dynamic team leadership of  Seema Hashmi, Dr Shahid Hashmi and family and dedicated volunteers and friends hosted various important successful and memorable events during the last forty (40) years.

            The events include 1. Fundraising for life saving operation 2. First Canadian Reference Library of Pakistan 3. Tribute to late Right Honourable Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau 4. Memorial ceremony for 9/11 5. An afternoon with MPP Frank Klees 6. Fundraising for Earthquake Crisis in Pakistan 7. Fundraising for Tsunami Crisis 8. An Evening with Haroon Siddiqui (Journalist) 9. Farewell tribute to York Region Police Chief Armand P. LaBarge 10. Jung Forum (Should immigrants bring their foreign political parties to Canada) 11. Recognizing Flemingdon Food Bank 12. Leadership campaign for Ernie Eves 13. Election campaign for John Tory 14. Leadership and election campaign of Frank Klees 15. 125 years of Sir Muhammad Iqbal (Teamed with Nazimuddin Nazim) 16. Stage drama “Injection” by Jalal Malihabadi (Performed by Shahid Hashmi, Kishwer Ghani and others) 17. An evening with Iqbal Safi Puri 18. Honorary dinner for Mala, A. Nayyar, Fareed Khan, Amjad Ali and Benjamin Sisters 19. Honorary dinner/ceremony for Nadeem, Moin Akhtar, Jawwad Ahmed, Khushboo and Junaid Jamshed 20. An evening with Zia Mohyuddin 21. Tribute to Madam Noor Jehan 22. An evening with Shanul Haque Haqqi 23. Honorary dinner for Jamiluddin Aali 24. An evening with Himayat Ali Shayar 25. An evening with Rasool Ahmed Kaleemi 26. An evening with Fahim and Faheem (Faheem School) 27. Fundraising for Clean Water in Bosnia 28. Raising awareness for Autism 29. Fundraising for Pakistan Flood Relief 30. An evening with Naseem Ahmed Usmani 31. An evening with Syed Iftikhar Haider 32. An afternoon with Ikram Barelvi 33. Farewell dinner for Consul General of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain 34. An evening with Kewal Dheer 35. Fundraising for Swat Valley Crisis 36. Faiz Fehmi Book Launching (Book of Dr Syed Taghi Abedi) and an evening with Gopi Chand Narang 37. Fundraising dinner for York Region Ontario PC Leader 38. Honorary dinner for former ambassdor Karamat Ghori 39. An evening with Sultana Mehar 40. An evening with Literary Ladies 41. Book launching of Mamoon Aiman’s book on Saba Akbar Abadi 42. Book launching of Faiz Fehmi (Written by Dr Syed Taghi Abedi) 43. Musharas (Poetry recitation) 44. Annual Canada Day Celebratory Events and 45. An evening with Legendary Music Maestro Sohail Rana 46. Centenary celebration of Maulana Altaf Hussain Hali and Allama Muhammad Shibli Nomani.        
            SOUVENIR: To mark the occasion and make it memorable, a souvenir on the centenary celebration was presented to all the participants. Messages of dignitaries showed the interest shown in the important event.
            Those who sent congratulatory and powerful messages included Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario,  Asghar Ali Golo, Consul General of Pakistan in Toronto, Justin P.J. Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, John McCallum, MP for Markham-Unionville, Shafiq Qadri, MPP, Etobicoke North and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier of Ontario, Dipika Damerla, MPP for Mississauga East-Cooksville, John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, Maurizio Bevilacqua, Mayor of Vaughan, Rick Milne, Mayor of New Tecumseh, Eric Jolliffe, Chief of Police, York Regional Police, Rafiq Rokerya, Citizenship Judge, Jim Karygiannis, Toronto City Councillor, Zeeshan Hamid, Milton Town Councillor (Ward 8), Salma Zahid, Federal Liberal Candidate, Thomas S. Saras, President & CEO of National Ethnic Press & Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC), Dr Syed Taghi Abedi, Iqbal Haider, Aftab Rizvi, freelance writer & columnist, Aqeel Ashraf, former Station Director of Radio Pakistan, Neelofer Abbasi, renowned TV figure, Farah Iqbal, Mohammad Yaseen, Hasham Hyder, Director, H.A.M. Information Technology Services Inc. and Dr Shahid Hashmi, Chairman, Canpak Chamber of Commerce.
            Also included was poetry `The Tenant’ by Sidra Hashmi (Grade 12 student), which was written at age 16 and published (Page 84) in the Young Writers of Canada: Memories Never Lost. Sidra’s message to the world is that life is so precious but she sees that life is being wasted and innocent people are being killed.
            Impressive pictures and works of Maulana Altaf Hussain Hali and Allama Shibli Nomani were also included in the souvenir.
            In all the messages, Dr Shahid Hashmi, Seema Hashmi, Asghar Ali Golo, Consul General of Pakistan, and the team leaders involved including Nazimuddin Nazim, Roshan Khayal, Hashim Reza Taqvi and Zubairuddin in making the event successful and memorable were highly praised for their efforts, roles and contributions.           
             SHIBLI NOMANI: Following is the brief life sketch of Allama Muhammad Shibli Nomani: Born on June 4, 1857, in Bindawal Azamgarh (UP). Passed away on November 18,1914, in Azamgarh (UP). Father: Shaikh Habibullah. Mother: Moqeema Khatoon. (d/o Qurban Ahmad, Phariha Azamgarh). Wife: Majidunnisa (Married 1876-77). Brothers: Mahdi Hasan, Mohammad Ishaq and Mohammad Junaid.
            Children: Hamid Hassan Nomani, Rabia Khatoon , Jannutul Fatima. Teachers: Maulana Farooq Chirayyakuti, Chirayyakot, Azamgarh, Maulana Irshad Husain, Rampur, Maulana Faizul Hasan Saharanpuri, Lahore, and Maulana Ahmad Ali Saharanpuri
            MAO College Association: 1882 – 1898, Professor of Persian and Arabic. Founder Editor: The Aligarh Magazine (Urdu)-1891.
            Famous Students: Hamid ud din Farahi, Abul Kalam Azad, Saiyid Sulaiman Nadvi, Muhammad Ali Jauhar, Zafar Ali Khan, Sajjad Haider Yaldram, Aziz Mirza, Masud Ali Mahvi, Abdus Salam Nadvi, Abdul Bari Nadvi and Shibli Mutakallim Nadvi.
            Books: Seerat-un-Nabi – 7 Volumes (co-edited by Syed Sulaiman Nadvi), Muqadmat-Seeratun Nabi, Al-Farooq : Biography of Hazrat Omar Farooq (R.A.), Al-Ghazali, Al-Mamoon , Seerat-un-Noman, Swaneh-Maulana Roomi, Al-Kalam, Ilmul-Kalam, Safar Nama Room-Misr-o-Shaam, Sherul-Ajam -5 Volumes, Kuliyat-e-Shibli (Urdu), Kuliyat-e-Shibli (Farsi), Mawazenah Anees-o-Dabeer, Al-Inteqar, Aurangzeb Alamgir per Ek Nazar
             After Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Allama Mohammad Shibli Nomani is considered as one of the tallest figures among the Muslims of Indian subcontinent who died at an age of 57 but his academic and social work put him way above to people who were far senior and elder to him. He founded the Shibli National Post Graduate College in 1883.
            His other venture was Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy, which did a wonderful job in realizing the dreams of its founder. Allama Shibli Nomani had a versatile personality but is mostly known for his academic work. People of academia are expected to work on other dimensions of his personality and give him his deserving stature of a reformer rather than just academician and theologian.
            ALTAF HUSSAIN HALI: Altaf Hussain Hali was one of the founders of Urdu criticism. He was an outstanding pre-modern poet and famous for writing Yaadgar-e-Ghalib, the first biography of Mirza Ghalib. Altaf Hussain Hali was the last disciple of Ghalib. He is also one of the most highly esteemed biographers of Ghalib's life and a commentator of his poetry.  
            Hali holds a distinguished position in the history of Urdu literature. He was a shayar (Poet), a critic, an educator, an activist and a commendable prose-writer. He was born in Panipat (Haryana) in 1837 and later migrated to Delhi to pursue higher studies in Indo-Islamic poetic tradition. During this period, he happened to interact with Mirza Ghalib. This meeting ignited within him a passion for poetry. Ghalib was his philosopher and guide in Urdu shayari (Poetry).
            After working at Lahore Book depot for four years, he joined the Anglo Arabic School in Delhi in the capacity of a teacher. During this period he got acquainted with Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and also wrote “Musaddas-e-Jazar-o-Islam”, which is one of the paramount books in the history of Urdu poetry. The Musaddas, or Musaddas-e-Hali, as it is often known, was published in 1879 and was widely acclaimed. It was considered to herald the modern age of Urdu poetry.  
            In 1887, Hyderabad State fixed a monthly pension for Hali as a mark of acknowledgement and honour for his contribution to Urdu sher-o-shayari. The British government bestowed upon him the title “Shams-ul-Ulema”. As a poet, he did not set limits for himself within the narrow bounds of Ghazal, but successfully ventured into other poetic forms such as Nazm, Rubai and elegy.
            His widely-lauded lengthy poem, Musaddas-e-Hali, focuses on the state of community and moral degradation prevalent in the contemporary Muslim society. He also wrote extraordinary biographies of Ghalib, Saadi Sheerazi and Sir Sayed Ahmed Khan. Hali’s interests were broad-spectrum and his literary abilities were commensurate with his philanthropic aspirations. Hali died in the year 1914 at Panipat.
          JZ’S PROFILE:  Declared by Judges as one of 75 Finalist Best Canadian Immigrants, an Honour for the Pakistani Community. Joined Journalism Profession in 1974 (Daily `SUN’, Karachi) and still serving as a professional journalist (2014). Javed Zaheer, Free Expression Award Winner (Awarded by National Ethnic Press & Media Council of Canada—NEPMCC. Award presented by Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, Canada), Desi Idol Recognition Award Winner (Presented by North American Desi Idol), Member/Honorary Director of NEPMCC, Veteran Active Member (VAM) of Toronto Press Club, Ex-Member of The National Club and The Ontario Club, Honorary Editor of English Weekly `Pakistan Abroad’, Canada, ex-Chief Editor (Honorary) of English Weekly `The Ambassador’, Canada, ex-Chief Editor (Honorary) of English Weekly `DAWN', Canada, ex-Senior Sub-Editor of English Daily DAWN, Pakistan (From 1986-1999), Chairman, CANOPI, Director of Children Dignity Foundation (CDF---Canada & Pakistan) and Honorary Director, Canpak, Chamber of Commerce, and Honorary Director Information, Pak Seniors Forum (PSF), is contributing purely on Voluntary and Honorary Basis in order to serve all people and communities. Contact: (416)696-0981/ To read more JZ’s exclusive articles, please visit: www. and (Editorial Sections. Scan years from 2004). Visit for latest exclusive articles.

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